Father and son team up as volunteer fire fighting duo

Published 9:31 am Monday, November 16, 2015

Some families have a business they share while others happen to go into the same business.

Bobby Rufus and his stepson Joshua Davies both spend a significant amount of time volunteering at the Fisher Ferry Volunteer Fire Department and serving as chief and assistant chief respectively.

Davies has been working with the department since he turned 15 in 2003 and began working as a junior fireman. He saw members of his family work in the business and so he chose to follow in their footsteps.

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“My dad was in it, [Rufus] was in it, so I’ve been around it since day one, and that’s all I’ve ever wanted to do,” Davies said.

Rufus joined because he wanted to help the community, and he had the time to do so with some of his friends. He started in the junior program as well, but for him that was in Florida during 1986.

“When we moved up here in 2003 we joined because [Davies] wanted to be a junior,” Rufus said. “So he actually got me back into it.”

Juniors have to be at least 16 now and help with tasks around the station as well as having minor responsibilities on fire calls and attending training sessions.

“It’s an effort to help recruit people, and it’s a good way to keep kids off the streets,” Davies said.

They say they aren’t necessarily the only father son team to fight fires together. The pair has known a couple other father son duos to work together at a fire station before like Byran and Alex Cunningham who work at the Culkin Department or Pete and Tom at Northeast. They say brothers are even more common to work at fire departments, and they have known a number of brothers who have worked together and separate.

Davies himself has one brother who works at the Letourneau Department, and he has another brother who works for the Port Gibson Department. They both also started out as juniors at Fisher Ferry.

Each man has a day job in addition to their firefighting duties with Rufus working at E911 and Davies at American Medical Response in Jackson.

Being the chief and assistant chief comes with a lot of responsibilities where they are in charge of public relations and have to create the budget, research new equipment, make sure everyone in the department is following the ruler and schedule and coordinate instruction and training. Members of the department have to stay up to date with their certification and take multiple hazmat, EMS and other courses.

Even with all the preparedness training, going on a call still gives them an adrenaline rush.

Multiple things go through Rufus’ head about safety, making sure it goes smoothly and no one gets hurt. Davies agreed saying it is great when calls go well, but the bad calls bother him because they can be stressful.

Sometimes the duo disagrees with each other, like they do with anyone else they work with, but at the end of the day they are family and they just want the station to succeed. They say there are no hard feelings because the station is a brotherhood.

The new Fisher Ferry Department is currently being built on Lee Road across the street from the old department. The old station could barely hold one truck much less anything else with no bathrooms or place to gather. The new station will house living quarters and a place for training as well as a larger area for the truck.